This I Believe

Brittany - Las VEgas, Nevada
Entered on January 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

People always tell me, “You are wise beyond your years.” But I am not. I carry with me not wisdom, but experience. I grew up faster than any kid should. I went through many experiences, both profound and painful, that have shaped me into the person I am. It is because I am able to look at my past and even look at who I am today and realize that each event in life has purpose. Each event is something to learn from, even the most negative of events.

At the age of twelve I became suicidal. At thirteen I was starving myself. At fourteen I started to cut myself. I was constantly on a roller coaster of emotions. Was it depression? Sure. Bipolar? Maybe. But I didn’t need a label to know I was messed up. I spent two years of my life cutting myself. The scars spoke louder than any words that could ever come out of my mouth. These four years were the most chaotic and painful years of my life.

Those who look at my life see a lot of things. My progress toward self acceptance. My continual efforts to do well in school. My drastic change in mood. Those are all good but not important. So many people go through things like self mutilation, eating disorders, and suicide attempts. Some people don’t make it to the other side of those issues. They fall beneath the waves of depression and starvation. I made it through. Not only did I make it through, but I made it through with more clarity about life than ever.

For so long, I felt as if I was broken beyond repair. I realize now, that being broken has its advantages. When something is broken, it causes people to look at it differently. The same thing occurs when people are broken; they look at the world differently. Once I got past the self despair and finished wallowing in my own self pity, I realized that life is not for the faint of heart. Life brings with it piles of hurt, pain, anger, and despair but those are all necessities in life. Some might feel lucky or privileged to have faced little negativity and hurt in their life. Those people are not lucky but in fact deprived. For without seeing the bad in life, it is impossible to see the good. The more bad you are exposed to, the more rewarding the good is and the more you are able to take advantage of it.

I realized through my pain, that every painless moment in life is a gift and I pity those who have not had the privilege of being able to see that. So many people take advantage of what life has to offer and they don’t realize how precious every moment is. It feels so unfair to know that on any given day, at any given moment I could fall back beneath the waves of depression and be trapped a prisoner in my own mind but I know that once the waves go down, which they always do, that life will only get better. I know that with each depressive episode, I am becoming the person I am meant to be.

The last time I relapsed, though not long ago, was different from any other relapse. As I dragged the razor across my skin I expected… or I hoped to find relief. I didn’t and though I wanted to feel something, in the back of my mind I knew I wouldn’t. I just needed to know for sure. I know now that I am not the person I was a year and a half ago. Over the past few years, I have grown tremendously. Though intentionally inflicting harm upon myself wasn’t the best thing to do, I believe that going through the experiences that caused me to cut and starve have been and even could be the most important events of my life.